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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

News/Business. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

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ac3

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480

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Us 10, Afghanistan 7, United States 6, U.n. 5, John Boehner 5, Eliot 5, U.s. 5, Lindsey Graham 4, Ada 3, Dole 3, China 3, United Nations 2, Obama 2, John 2, Charles Pierce 2, Boehner 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, Jennifer 2, Sam 2, John Rosenthal 2,
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  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.   
   (2012)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    December 6, 2012
    2:00 - 2:59am PST  

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yourself in the middle of the ring. wait for that tyt elbow. there go. calling out hypocrisy on a daily basis. that's w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w w [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." you wouldn't think that it would be difficult to ratify an u.n. treaty that is based on existing u.s. law. but then again you might not have met the modern republican party where ideological zealots rule. on july 26 1990, president george bush sr. signed the americans with disabilities act. the bill passed the house and
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the senate with only 34 legislate34legislators total opposing it. yet today 38 republican senators voted no on the u.n. treaty that would extend the ada to the rest of the world. inclusion six who had voted yay on the bill in 19 ott. this was sufficient to block it. the treaty was adopted by the united nations six years ago and has since been ratified by 126 countries, just not the united states. even a last-minute appeal by former senator bob dole himself a disabled veteran, as well as every major veterans group and even the chamber of commerce could not sway senate republicans. but this is what has become of the republican party. a party whose views often dissend to the lowest common denominator and defined by paranoid fears of the u.n. that are devoid of any fact whatsoever. so one could understand harry reid's frustration in trying to negotiate with republicans when he vented, and i quote, it's
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difficult to engage in rational negotiation when one side holds well-known facts and proven truths in such low esteem. senator reid is spot on or more on what it means for the disabilities community i'm met with the ceo how shocked are you that it could not be ratified by the united states senate. >> when it comes down to it, i was floored. there is no reason in this day and age when a treaty that is focused on a quality for people with disabilities abroad can't pass the u.s. senate. it was really ridiculous and ultimately a sad day for america that we couldn't get it through. this treaty would have allowed the united states to really export things that we just hold dear you know, some of our
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fundamental values about equality freedom and true human dignity. when americans are traveling abroad whether it's to study to work, or as part of a family contingent going to one of our bases overseas, they will not have the same protection as folks with disabilities here in the united states under the ada. george w. bush, he was the one who passed the ada. this treaty was the brainchild of his son right? --george herbert walker bush was the brainchild and george w. bush was the brainchild of this treaty. >> eliot: that is what is astonishing, the heritage of the act and the treatry are in the republican party. it is actually perhaps the last
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vestige of the republican party as a voice for civil liberties and civil rights. you have both bush signing it, drafting it, and then it is astonishing that these nativist voices the fear of the united nations this paranoid sensibility that captures a few votes in the republican party prevent it from passing the senate that is supposed to be a batian of reason. you worked in the obama white house, does it shock you when lindsey graham stands up and votes against this. he's somewhat a respected member of the senate. >> nothing shocks me any more. the republican party has been moving away from disability for some time. when you look at other things that the congress has focused on medicaid, healthcare, the affordable care act even looking at what's going on with the fiscal cliff right? are we going to balance our budget by lessoning lessening the
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support to those with disability or focus on those at the top 1%. this trend is ongoing and i hope it doesn't continue. the bipartisan tradition around disability is longstanding, and i think it's mourn. it's one of those few issues that traditionally both republicans and democrats can agree on, and i hope we can get back to that point. a lot of work need to be done in the republican party for us to get there. >> eliot: your point is so well taken. there should be no disagreement about extending rights to those with disabilities. this is not a partisan issue. it has not been historically a partisan issue. whom will you call? where will you begin when you go and reach out to the republican party and say guys, go back to your roots. you just lost an election because of the narrowness of your vision. expand it. who will you talk to? >> you know what? i will talk to everyone and anyone who will listen.
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we work he very closely with former senator dole, and i couldn't believe as he was sitting there in the senate, and republican after republican voted against something that was so important so near and dear to his heart with former governor dick thornberg who is an amazing ally to folks with disabilities. i had dinner with dora bush, another person who is passionate about making the world a better place for those with disabilities. the voices are there we just need to figure out how to get those voices to be a more powerful voice for the power. >> eliot: each of those voices were a voice from the past. that's indicative of the unfortunate transportation transformation.
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mark perrierllop thank you for joining us. >> we served from different states way back a couple of years ago. senator, were you shocked as many of us when this treaty was not approved by the united states senate? >> i was absolutely astonished, shocked and surprised especially given the presence of former senator dole in the well of the chamber, present physically there, even in somewhat weakened state, but a reminder, as you put it very well, the roots of the republican party and the bipartisanship that should surround this issue. so it was a very poignant, and truly sad moment for i think all of us to see the 307 plus republican senators who voted against it despite the instincts of bob dole and others in the
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party. >> eliot: my sense is, and tell me if i'm wrong this extends principles of law that is all right existent in the united states. it does not alter u.s. law. it does not change u.s. law in any way. what was the opposition of the republican party? i struggled all day to find a rational opposition, a rational argument. >> well, there were all kinds of very very unfounded charges made about this law. you're absolutely right. it does not in any way enhance or extend united states law. what it does is extend it to other countries. extend those standards that enable people with disabilities to enjoy in other countries the same law and legal protections access fair and just treatment that they are accorded here. you asked the really one of the key questions here where to go now? because it will be brought back in the 113th congress. my hope is that veterans will carry the day here.
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veterans organizations very strongly supported this law and the treaty, and my hope is that they will carry the day. >> eliot: you refer to the fact you were there. senator dole in the well of the senate saying to his fellow republicans, please vote for this. he is, of course, a wounded veteran for whom this was an important statute. the chamber of commerce was for this on the theory it would expand exports and the power of capitalism, and the chamber of commerce being a conservative voice. it was astonishing to see lindsey graham, that he opposed this. that's why i'm somewhat astonished about the depth of the 38 votes that they would get into opposition. >> interestingly talking about veterans, john mccain supported it. another veteran. truly distinguished and a claimed veteran supported not just by his vote, but also
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testified in favor of it before the foreign relations relation committee. so there is a group presently serving men and women who supported this law. we don't have to go back to the bob doles or the former president bushes, and with all due respect to them, you've asked the right question. what do we do in the here and now, the present. i think there is a real potential body of strength to work outward and maybe recruit some of those senators who voted against it, and we'll have new senators who are not yet on record. >> eliot: i and many others certainly hope when you turn the corner in january i heard senator kerry say there could be hearings shine a spotlight on how flawed the arguments in opposition to the treaty were. the questions remains is this systemic of a larger problem with the republican party? it seems to grasp at arguments that we discount and are lacking
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in factual foundation to hold up meaningful and important legislation and is the republican party moving more to the right or is it moving more to the center. what is your sense on that? >> here is my sense. this issue has been widely misunderstood and misinterpreted. the arguments are based on fears and falsehoods, disabilities and protection of people with disabilities, fair access to education and justice and transportation, all of the services that are essential and guaranteed by our constitution should be part of who we are. nonpartisan bipartisan, the argument that it would undermine united states sovereignty promote abortion undermine care of children by their own parents, all completely unfounded. i hope that this may sound naive, once more of the truth is known by more of the people who can mobilize those veterans
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groups, more of the natural constituencies of both parties that we can prevail. >> eliot: look, one thing i know you are not from dealing with you as a lawyer, senator, naive, you are not. i think you're exactly right. let's hope that the light is shaneed on how fella cius their arguments are. senator, continue the fight as you always do. you never quit. senator dick blumenthal. thank you for joining us. >> eliot: will john boehner and mitch mcconnell actually leave jennifer > i want the people who watch our show to be able to come away armed with facts and the arguments to feel confident in their positions. i want them to have the data and i want them to have the passion.
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>> eliot: one of the reasons cited by senate republicans to ratify an u.n. treaty providing protection to people with disabilities they didn't believe big decisions should be made by a lame duck congress, really? these are the same folks who were supposed to be in serious negotiations about the impending fiscal cliff. even mitch mcconnell should acknowledge the hypocrisy in that one. over the fiscal cliff negotiations one thing has become crystal clear. the schisms are becoming more and more pronounce. there are three distinct groups, theological warriors who want to impose their views on the country. tee party zealots and remnant of the pro business moderates while their fiscal views are the last reasonable voice in the republican party. it's this last group who are
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willing to compromise and combine their ideologies with governing. it is this group bit by bit who are peeling away the extreme views of the rest of the party. the most important question remains are there enough of them to make a deal and reign in the g.o.p. circus. joining me now charles pierce, writer to esquire and author and host of ring of fire and majority report sam seder. do you feel sorry for john boehner who has all these circus folks with him? >> i don't. >> eliot: shocking to me. >> look, he has--he's trying to maintain his caucus, and you know at the end of the day i don't really invest too heavily about the actual persons of these politicians. the fact that you were talking about lindsey graham who pressureperceived--
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>> eliot: i was setting him up to tear him down. >> the point is he's facing re-election. the republican electorate that the republicans have nurtured and grown. they have created frankenstein, i've said it before on this program, and basically they're at the mercy of these people. they created this monster and they can't put it back in the bottle. >> eliot: would you agree with sam, they are now the victims of their own creation. they cannot escape the tea party fringe who has knocked out the more merate voices of the establishment party so they're left with only the fear of the far rate. shame on them. >> i don't mean to put too fine of a point on it, the republican party of this party is demented. i wrote a book on alzheimer's disease. i know what it looks like. they have sensory and auditory hallucination. their place in the world has been completely blown.
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what mike reese said about this disability treaty, any more off the wall than the fairytales that ronald reagan used to tell about welfare moms? as sam pointed out this has been the ongoing slide into dementia that began in 1980 when they adopted supply side economic which was the ultimate kool-aid. getting back to lindsey graham, wasn't he the leader in effort to impeach a president in a lame duck session? did i sleep will you that year. >> eliot: the hobgoblin of little minds. you cannot look for consistency. just mere hypocrisy made on the other side whether it's the refusal to ratify the treaties e tending u.n. treaty about disability or what they're saying by the fiscal cliff. we're seeing an important shift in their strategy. i think at the end of the day john boehner is going to decide it makes more sense to pass the senate bill, extending the tax
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cut to 98% saying to the public at large we're not going to deny you that, but we're not going to pass the debt ceiling increase. on that they'll hang tougher seeking to extract something from the white house. >> i agree with half of that. i think they're going to wait for the debt ceiling crisis that they're going to create with their leverage. but it seems to me that they have more incentive to blame the democrats for rising taxes on everybody, and then come back and pass that middle class tax cut. i think we're going to see the sun setting of the bush tax cuts. i just don't see how the tea partyers essentially can do a preemptive basically pre- preemptive tax cuts before the taxes go back up. >> eliot: charles, do you agree with sam? once the tax cuts have expired maybe they pass the tax cut for 98% but then use their leverage to negotiate the tax cuts entime
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entitlement cuts. >> i'm not sure that they won't fold on the tax cuts. once again you have to step back from the observation of what's going on in washington now and remember we're fighting whether or not the top marginal rates should be in the low 30s or not. we should roll back the reagan tax cut but i don't believe in miracles. >> eliot: charles, what you're say something critically important. we're all in a way falling prey to this issue as if they're big issues when they're not. the fact that the rate would go from 35 to 39.6, it used to be in the 90s and 70s and 60s, and capital gains will be taxed at below the rate of ordinary income. we're dealing with the most minimal of shifts and changes yet we're being sucked into the notion that this is dramatic. it's not. >> you divided the republicans
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in three separate camps. i would say that the difference between the theological theocrats and the tee tea party is minimal. to a certain extent the policies that plays out with the theocrats is economics. four republicans have become identity politics. they have no idea what they're talking about. there is plenty of data to show that people don't even know what the fiscal cliff is. it shrinks rather than expands it. you don't spend. anti-keynesian has become the same politician involved in marriage and-- >> eliot: i distinguish between the two, the theological strand of the party is more of the social, same-sex marriage. >> i don't think there is as much distinction as you think there is. >> eliot: the second category, the tea part i began as economic
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empowerment. you're right. folks who say get government out of medicare, there is no logic to what they're saying. do youdo you buy it, but boehner is trying to harness and hold together that is fraught with inconsistencies. >> well, first of all i agree with sam. i think-- >> eliot: am i outvoted? i'm not sure that i like this. >> it's a distinction without a difference in the first two groups, and i don't think there is a third group left not with any power. do i think boehner is trying to rein in his caucus by sending a couple of rookie pitchers down to aa? if john boehner wanted control of his caucus he could discipline paul ryan whose crazy economic inside are ideas are the
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hill that they're willing to die on. if john boehner wants to discipline somebody, let him get paul ryan out of the negotiation. >> eliot: i agree with you. i don't think that's likely to happen. only a few seconds left. dick army leaving freedom works with a mere $8 million self republicans pay. >> he's getting paid $400,000 year for the next 20 years for not coming in to work. his salary was $500,000 a year. so he's getting four-fifths of his salary just not to show up. i think there is something else going on. >> eliot: that is perhaps take another interpretation on it. maybe they don't value him that much. you're worth that much for not showing up. that's how much you contributed. >> i have worked with people like that. but that story is very strange. he supposedly had a falling out with his number two because of i amiiamiimproprieties that number two was going to do. if you're going to pay out a guy $8 million, you're going to get him to sign a nondisclosure
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form. he's obviously talking about it. i think there was another reason why he left. >> eliot: we'll have to dig into this. sam seder and charles pierce, as always, thank you guys for joining us tonight. >> a pleasure. >> eliot: coming up, most americans want something done about guns and gun violence. why is the federal government dodododododododododododododododododododododododododododododo i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us.
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>> eliot: you've got to give credit to alan simpson. the 81-year-old retired senator is pressuring congress to lower the debt, he's reaching out to the internet generation. all i can say is the man from wyoming knows a thing or two about riding a horse. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> stop instagramming your
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breakfast and tweeting your first world problems and getting on youtube so you can see gangnam style. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> and start using those precious social media skills and go out and sign people up on this baby, three people a week, let it grow. don't forget, take part or or get taken apart or these old coots will take it before you get there. >> i got a bum knee. >> lasso again and then the horse, the cows ride. the irs is going after political groups hiding behind the social welfare label. [ male announcer ] red lobster's hitting the streets to tell real people about our new 15 under $15 menu. oh my goodness!
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oh my gosh this looks amazing! [ male announcer ] our new maine stays! 15 entrees under $15 seafood, chicken and more! oo! the tilapia with roasted vegetables! i'm actually looking at the wood grilled chicken with portobello wine sauce. that pork chop was great! no more fast food friday's! we're going to go to red lobster. yep. [ male announcer ] come try our new menu and sea food differently! and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. salad, sandwiches, and more.
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>> eliot: when kansas city
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chiefs linebacker jovan belcher murdered kasandra perkins last weekend and then shot himself it did not happen in a vacuum. there are $30,000 done deaths a year, doing nothing about this is one thing that clearly makes no sense. which begs the question why is government doing nothing when it comes to guns. here to talk to us about possible solutions is john rosenthal, co-founder of stop handgun violence and the american hunters and shooters association, an alternative to nra for moderate gun owners. thank you for joining us. >> thank you eliot. >> eliot: the frustration we've felt for years in response to gun violence. in the context of all that has happened, the lack of action, what is your agenda, and how do you plan to make it real. >> it's no different than it has been the better part of 20 years. i'm a gun owner. i'm a business person. i believe in the second
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amendment and the right to bear arms but the founders never extended that the second amendment extend to terrorists and criminals to buy guns without even a background check. toy guns and teddy bears have a multitude of regulations of how they're made and marketed. you need an i.d. to vote in many places. but in 33 states it's federal gun policy that you do not need an i.d. or background check to buy an unrestricted, unlimited number of guns. that is federal gun policy. it's left to the states and states do what they want. the only place where there is a background check requirement in assault weapons and handguns is if go to a federally licensed gun dealer. you can go to private dealers out of their homes backpack trunks, flee markets in 33
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states and buy assault weapons cash and carry no i.d. or background check. that's why 150 people are shot a day. 83 die every single day. and congress is own lock, stock and barrel. the republicans are owned by the nra. and the democrats are literally intimidated into submission, and no one seems to care that guns are unrestricted. >> eliot: john, you have laid out both just now and in many of your articles reasons smart moderate proposals that you would think gun owners such as you could agree to. and one of the political questions consequently that mystifies me is why does the nra have such a monopoly of power when it comes to the gun issue. if you look at the polling data, most americans support a background check. and most americans are with you supporting the reasoned efforts to prevent guns from falling into the hands of the wrong
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people. why is the republican congress and frankly i shouldn't say it that way. why are so many afraid to raise their voice on this issue. why is there such so cowardice on this issue. >> money. a big wall street equity firm are buying up gun companies. wall street hates regulation and the only product in america not regulated is the real begun. toy guns and teddy bears they're all regulated. the nra are funned bunkedded funded by the gun industry, the profits are enormous and they spike every time there is a major mass shooting. the dirty little secret is that the nra loves high profile mass shootings. the more gun violence the better, the more fear, it causes
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people to buy guns. more profits for the gun industry then they funnel it into intimidateing democrats into submission, and then they fund the republicans and the republicans just roll over. there isn't even a background check requirement. even the president is intimidated. i went to the white house at the direction of our governor here in massachusetts. massachusetts is an urban industrial state. we have the toughest gun laws in the nation. first in the nation protection standards in firearms, and we have the lowest firearm fatality rate rural, your ban or other states we're number one. the president came back from mexico where the president calderÓn to pleaded to renew the ban on assault weapons. they're the number one common denominator in mass shootings. and in drug wars have guns that
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come from our bordering states. i said, why is he not fulfilling his promise of background checks at gun shows and renewing the ban on assault weapons. he showed me a letter signed by 65 democrats. this was when the democrats were in control of the house and the senate. 65 democrats said don't touch guns if you want healthcare. gabby giffords was on that list. that's what obama is up against. >> eliot: here's the thing. you have eloquently and precisely articulated what the state of play is although the only thing i would say is that was a statement relating more to a president who had not yet been re-elected. even though he was wrong and awfully wrong in his refusal to raise this issue in this first term, i have a lingering hope that the second term president without worries of some of those swing voters, the pennsylvania, michigan, ohio etc. who he no longer needs maybe he'll have
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the backbone to raise this issue. time is short tonight. i want you to come back in the next week or two because we've got to develop a strategy which elected officials we can say please, pick up this issue. run with it. it's your moral responsibility. there are others, john, i hope you'll help us to figure out who they might be. >> i would love to, and we need leadership in the media as well in washington. >> eliot: john rosenthal co-founder of to have handgun violence and the american hunters and shooters association. thank you for joining us tonight tonight. >> my pleasure. i look forward to coming back. >> eliot: next up, the deadline has arrived on climate change. wiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwiwi you know who's coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys who do those types are coming on to me all the time now. >> she gets the comedians laughing... >> that's hilarious! >> ...and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there's wiggle-room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me. >> absolutely! >> and so would mitt romeny. >> she's joy behar.
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>> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv.
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>> eliot: time and again we see increasingly powerful storms that all point to one undeniable fact. climate change. we know the cause yet have done virtually nothing to remedy it. the damage we have done to our environment may be getting worse. carbon dioxide emissions were at a record high in 2011. and when the numbers in 2012 are totaled they're expected to be even worse. the efforts to cush these hammer unfortunately emissions are simply failing. the rhetoric coming out of the white house has been fine. the president obama even mentioned quote the destructive power of a warming planet in his acceptance speech last month but time for talk is over. now the is the time for action.
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here with me now to tell me if we should start preparing for the earth as we know it. joe rome. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> we're very close or even maybe at a tipping point beyond which the capacity to pull back the impact of co2 pouring intoous atmosphere may well nigh impossible. >> no question it's getting--the impacts are getting more noticeable. we're seeing super storms we haven't seen before. hurricane sandy was the most destructive ever reported. it's the combination of the warmer ocean temperatures make the storms stronger, feeds it more water and then the sea level rise. it's going to be get higher and higher and it's going to make the storm surges like sandy
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worse and worse. people should know we still have time to act. we can still avert the worse but time is certainly running out. >> cenk: one of theout. >> eliot: one of the things critical is the increase of earth temperature and once above that we see the impact environmentally. where are we now and how long will it take, and what must we do right away to minimize the impact we're going to see? >> we're at about eight degrees centigrade warming a little below a degree fahrenheit. if we hit 3.5-degrees fahrenheit we're risking serious impacts. what we need to do now is negotiate. the world climate negotiators are meeting right now and the united states is there. we need some leadership. >> eliot: the leadership, though--let me ask this question this way.
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we know that the reality of our divided government, the republican house is not going to embrace either the agenda of climate change or the specific steps that you and i certainly could agree upon that would be necessary to take. what is the residual zone of that action that a president can take unilaterally. tick over the things that the president could be doing now that we should be pressuring him to do to show the world that we're taking the lead position in addressing climate change. >> absolutely. he has made a very good start with a fuel standard for automobiles that he negotiated with auto makers. cars are a big piece of it. another big piece is power plants. he has authority under the clean air act to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. the natural resource defense council came out with a study that said he could use existing authority to reduce emission 20%
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from power plants. that would be a big deal. there are all these efficiency standards locked up in the white house that need to be set free. he could take more leadership role in the pentagon use of clean energy. the pentagon has become a leader but now it's time to expand that. if the president really took an aggressive set of actions we could actually meet this commitment that he made three years ago before the copenhagen negotiations for a 17% reduction in carbon pollution and then we could lead the way for international negotiations. >> eliot: let me just jump in on the clean air act. there is a point that people need to understand. the white house has been pretty good about issuing resolutions leading to new power plants. not existing coal burning plants. even though now regs are good,
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if you apply those retrospectively to existing coal plants then you would be capturing and harnessing a much bigger fish and something more important in terms of what the white house could do. that's what the white house should really be focusing on. >> i'm glad you spelled that out. he has put out standards for new power plants but as you said natural gas prices they're so low that no one was going to be building new coal plants any way. but we have hundreds of existing coal plants, and he does have the authority to put in place new standards to reduce the pollution of existing coal plants. that would benefit public health besides reducing greenhouse gas pollutions. >> eliot: let me ask you the hard question. we all know that the united states and china the biggest polluters, china is building more coal plants. how do we get them to see this issue the way we do. there is a legitimate point being made by the other side.
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we don't matter if the chinese continue to spew co2 in the atmosphere. how do you confront that issue. >> as you know, the chinese and other developing countries say hey, you're the rich countries you got rich polluting and you're not even willing to reduce your own emissions. now you want to stop us from doing this, and you won't help us with clean energy technologies. the answer is we need leadership. if the united states could meet its commitment that obama made, then we could go at international negotiations, and develop an agreement. i think the chinese understand that ultimately building all these coal plants is going to hurt them more than us because they've got more people. they've got a lot of people along the coast lines. they have a lot of people living in very dry arid conditions that will just get drier. they have a lot of mouths to feed and they're drawing down their aquifers.
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i think if the u.s. were in a position to show some leadership to say we're going to reduce emissions, now china get off your butt and you reduce emission, then i think you could see a global deal. obviously if the richest country in the world, which is is the biggest cumulative polluter refuses to lead, you can hardly expect poorer countries too do so. >> eliot: it has not really accomplished anything but you're right. there is no way to anticipate success if we do not take the first step and say as wealthy as we are we cannot afford to do so. it's imperative that we do so. author of "language and intelligence." joe rome, you are a diverse thinker. thank you for your insights tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> eliot: coming up, we have a marine captain who wants to let women fight in
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jennifer > i want the people who watch our show to be able to come away armed with facts and the arguments to feel confident in their positions. i want them to have the data and i want them to have the passion.
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very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >>liberal and proud of it. jot war on women has found one more incarnation discrimination against women that is quite literally at war. since 2001 nearly 2011 many have served
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in afghanistan, and making up nearly 15% of u.s. armed forces are not given the opportunity to serve in direct combat roles. despite serving the same courage and honor as their male counterparts and very clearly seeing their share of combat active duty women are limited in their access to training, promotion, and veterans benefits. now the best are fighting back. joining me now is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits against the department of defense who served two tours in afghanistan, zoe yes and ariela, thank you for joinings were zoe, you were there. you saw women in combat. does this rule make sense to you? >> absolutely. i did two tours in afghanistan. i was charge of the female
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engagement marines. that meant we were living with them, patrolling with them, and if they were attacked, we were attacked right with them and fought back. the rules do not recognize that reality. it says we do not serve in the front line but there are no front lines versus anything else in afghanistan. everyone in afghanistan is in a combat zone. >> eliot: the rule that supposedly prevents women from being in combat is archaic on two notions. one with a notion of what women should do in our society and there is no longer a front line as there were in world war ii where you had infantry men facing each other. you don't have that any more in afghanistan. what is the rule and how is it that 144 women have lost their lives, and clearly the rules are not enforced or meaningful.
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>> the rules refer to archaic notion. women cannot be assigned to unit units that engage in in combat. when you're in afghanistan as captain badel was there is no battlefield. they'll take women and attach them to units instead of assigning them to units. it's a meaningless difference although it has meaning when they come back for their careers. they'll do things like have women serve in direct support. they're walking with them and carrying the same stuff but they haven't had the opportunity to be trained with them. >> eliot: is this akin to the don't ask/don't tell rules. it reflected a set of values that were a archaic the word of the moment. how is this viewed? do many women share your view this is something that should
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simply be gotten rid of? >> there is a range of opinions. i've received support from men and women on this, but there are people who don't think it should still nobody place. many have not served with women so they hold on to their archaic notions. in the don't ask/don't tell there are a couple of similarities. first, they thought the military would fall apart once the don't ask/don't tell was put in place. and once that rule was repealed, a lot of women took heart because we're the last groups now that they're discriminating against. there is no one left to fight for us. >> eliot: it is--so many people stay the military is an institution, and it has been in the forefront of breaking down barriers, racial sexual, and
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hopefully this last barrier with a legal proposition, there are enough lawyers here, what is the essence of your claim and what is your foundation and how do you assess your success. >> it's a straightforward claim. the fifth amendment because it's the federal government and not the states through the due process laws the rule says the government cannot have a blanket rule excluding women from an opportunity unless it has an exceedingly persuasive justification. they have to show that this rule is closely tied to an important governmental goal. here it's not closely tied and here the rule undermines goals and causes us to have a brain drain after arizona. >> eliot: how is the defense department, how is leon panetta reacting to this? are they taking steps to begin to move in the right direction? >> the only reactions i've seen are the ones i've seen which say hey we have just opened 14 14,000
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jobs. yes, there are 238,000 jobs closed to women. i hope what that reflects is a recognition that this rule has got to go. and you can't keep it where positions are closed off to all women even where their commanders want to assign them to the job. >> eliot: i assume in the military the inability for women formerly to be in combat because promotions within the ranks must depend upon having proven capacity in a combat dynamic. >> that is true in the shrinking down the forces as we wind down the wars. the generals are from jobs closed to military women. that's not the percentage that the entry level. it's nationally funneling towards these jobs that women don't have a chance to serve in. we want a
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